extremely aggressive today?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Herman,MN
    Posts
    8

    Default extremely aggressive today?

    Did an inspection and about half way through the bees got really aggressive. Swarming around my head trying to sting me all over. Luckily had my gloves on. Was about 4:30 in the afternoon and 85 degrees. What causes this? Wrong time of the day? Wasn't a pleasant experience. Smoke didn't seem to calm them. Thanks, KAD

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Park County, Montana, USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    I would suspect you're in a dearth. Bees get very defensive this time of year if there is no flow and some beast threatens to steal their winter food supply.
    5 Production colonies, 1 side by side 5 frame nuc for support- 7 working queens is all I want.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Hart County, Georgia
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Some bees are just born mean but this sounds like you have a hive that is normally fine.

    In that case, it's usually, like Grins said, because of a lack of resources. It can also be that they've been disturbed by something in the night like a skunk or raccoon. If you see no signs of that and they stay mean, you'll have to see what you want to do about a "hot hive".

    You could try going back to them in a day or so (maybe at a different time of day) and see if they've had an attitude adjustment.
    Whenever I crack a box and they come rolling out, I know that they are just not in the mood for it today and I close them up and walk away. Tomorrow may be completely different.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,100

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Dearth. Protective time of the year. For me, it's also yellow jacket attack season so everyone is on high alert. Also, multiple stings on suits, veils, gloves, etc., provoke more bees to become defensive.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grins View Post
    I would suspect you're in a dearth. Bees get very defensive this time of year if there is no flow and some beast threatens to steal their winter food supply.
    I agree with Grins, and it was kinda late in the day.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,160

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    We still have a decent, but dwindling flow here. I find that they do this in the fall and interpret it as being defensive of their stores knowing that winter is coming. If you have a flow of some sort, it may have more to do with the shortening of daylight hours. No evidence, just my hunch. J

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,127

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    I went to put my fall Apivar on everybody today and they were all very pissy, I had to double glove my normal nitrile gloves. Except for my hive with Queen Callie and the two hives with her daughters, they never get mean, never need smoke, I swear I could work those three hives wearing nothing but short and a tank top and not get stung. They were bringing in a lot of pollen though.
    Zone 6B

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,089

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Quote Originally Posted by kadeal View Post
    Did an inspection and about half way through the bees got really aggressive. Swarming around my head trying to sting me all over. Luckily had my gloves on. Was about 4:30 in the afternoon and 85 degrees. What causes this? Wrong time of the day? Wasn't a pleasant experience. Smoke didn't seem to calm them. Thanks, KAD
    Dearth and robbing will do.

    The rest is not that important.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, MA USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Yes to all the above, and a nod to GregV on the robbing aspect. You are not the only one seen as an attacker - you also expose the hive to robbers who may likely be in the area waiting to jump into an open hive. Then you can get all kinds of frenzied activity going. Happened to me once at this time of year - very distressing. I suggest that you always keep the boxes that you have pulled off during inspection covered rather than sitting open.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,089

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Quote Originally Posted by TJC1 View Post
    Yes to all the above, and a nod to GregV on the robbing aspect. You are not the only one seen as an attacker - you also expose the hive to robbers who may likely be in the area waiting to jump into an open hive. Then you can get all kinds of frenzied activity going. Happened to me once at this time of year - very distressing. I suggest that you always keep the boxes that you have pulled off during inspection covered rather than sitting open.
    Have to work fast and be focused.
    No fiddling about.
    Keep things covered up at all times.
    Can spray some vinegar onto the cover cloths - to mask the scent.
    Plenty of smoke.
    I did an inspection today (just had to quickly flip my long hive frames end to end - so to shift them into the winter position).
    10-15 mins max - robbing is already setting in.
    Done and closed in.
    Sprayed vinegar onto the hive lid and exterior walls - to cut scents and repel the robbers.
    Plugged the entrances by paper (all but one; they will unplug what they want later).
    Check back in 1 hour - all good and settled down.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    South Waikato New Zealand
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Do you use a particular type of vinegar...or anything is okay?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,089

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    Do you use a particular type of vinegar...or anything is okay?
    Basic 5% vinegar from the grocery store.
    Straight.
    Harmless enough, but smelly.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    South Waikato New Zealand
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: extremely aggressive today?

    Interesting, thanks.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Santa Rsoa County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Treated my hives on 24 Sep. My thoughts were like you, just a quick in and out. Extra care on being as gentle as possible. Thought about going with a veil only...glad I didn't because as soon as I opened the outer cover I could tell they were in no mood to be disturbed at all. They lit me up. First time the girls have done that.
    westy
    FL, USA

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